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Crystal Choo Choo Delgado
© Copyrighted photo courtesy Team Delgado


5'4" junior lightweight Crystal "Choo Choo" Delgado was born on July 30, 1990 in Houston, Texas. Her mother is Mexican and her father Philip, who is her trainer and manager, is Puerto Rican.

Crystal began to box at age 11 and was active in other sports including basketball, track and cheerleading. Her father encouraged her to box and Crystal told Michael J. Campbell of Undefeated Magazine "From the beginning my dad put me in with the best girls.  I was 1-0 facing girls 23-0.  So I learned a lot by losing a lot.  Then the turning point for me was at the 2005 National Junior Olympic Championships.  It was the first year that they let junior girls compete. I had two matches and went through them both and ended up being named the Outstanding Boxer of the Tournament.  It felt really good knowing that I had accomplished it through hard work. I had to start at the local tournament and then the regional, so I fought many times to get there.” (At those 2005 Junior Olympic Tournament in Brownsville, Texas in June 2005 Crystal won the 125 lb division with a 13-7 decision over Denver's Brittany Cruz.)

At the 2005 Ringside World Championship in Kansas City, Missouri from Aug. 2 - 7, 2005, Celina Salazar defeated Crystal in her preliminary bout, reversing an earlier win by Delgado in the 2005 Junior Olympic Tournament.

On October 4, 2005 at the National PAL Championships in Oxnard, California, Crystal lost by a RSC-1 to Adelaida Ruiz of  California in a 125-lb senior division bout.

Crystal was ranked #2 in the 2006 USA 132-lb division after losing in the final of the Junior Olympic Tournament in Marquette, Michigan to Micaela Arce of Reno, Nevada on July 1 by a 25-8 margin.  She had defeated Jessica Chambers of Tacoma, Washington by a 26-13 score in the semifinal on June 30.

In the 132-lb division at the August 2006 Ringside Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri, Crystal again lost to Micaela Arce of Reno, Nevada, this time by a 14-2 score. Crystal remembers “I gave it everything I had and just knew that I’d won.  Her coaches congratulated me and the crowd was cheering for me, and I was so happy.  Then when they said her name, I was devastated." 

In 132-lb division at the 2007 US Women's National Championships on June 4 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Crystal lost to Katy Klinefelter of Iowa City, Iowa by RSC at 1:54 in the third round.. 

She decided to go pro and ended her amateur career with a total of 60 fights and six championships won.

She made her pro debut at age seventeen on August 17, 2007 at the Renaissance Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, weighing in at 133 lbs and winning a four-round majority (39-37,39-37,38-38) decision over Elizabeth Tavarez (132½ lbs) of Midland, Texas who was also making her pro debut although she had extensive kickboxing experience. Tavarez told WBAN, "I am proud of my performance although I am disappointed at the outcome. No one likes to lose but I will definitely learn from my failure to convince the judges. I ended up in the emergency room after the head butt in the first round that caused a laceration under my right eyebrow which got six stitches. As soon as I stepped into the ring, I realized that my opponent  was a southpaw and head butts quickly became an issue."

Crystal says of this bout: "My opponent was 29 years old, a weight lifter, and looked like a real beast.  I had to gain weight to make 135 and nobody thought I had a chance.  I got rocked in the first round then I came back and cut her in the second.  Then I just kept backing her up with pressure all she could do was cover up and not throw any punches and I won.”

On November 29, 2007 at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Houston, Texas, Crystal (131 lbs)  won a four-round unanimous (40-36 x 3) decision over Maria Rodriguez (137 lbs) of Brownsville, Texas who fell to 2-1 (0 KO). Michael J. Campbell told WBAN: "These two young ladies matched up well in size and skill which made for an entertaining contest, but Delgado proved to be the quicker of the two and showed more desire to win by finishing the match strong. They stood face to face for the majority of the fight trading power punches, until Rodriguez wore down and Delgado was able to land at a higher percentage in the later rounds and cause swelling over Rodriguez’s eyes."

On December 20, 2007 at the Convention Center in Pasadena, Texas, Crystal (130½ lbs) won a four-round unanimous (40-35 x 3) decision over 30-year-old Devon Crisi Knight (132 lbs) of Tulsa, Oklahoma who was making her pro debut (picture at right).

On January 19, 2008 at Silver Wings in El Campo, Texas, Crystal (126¼ lbs) won a four-round unanimous (40-36,40-36,39-37) decision over 31-year-old Lisa Lamb (124½ lbs) of Fort Worth, Texas, who was making her pro debut.

On April 17, 2008 at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Houston. Crystal (128 lbs) won a TKO at 1:24 in the first round over Candace Lett (127¼ lbs) of Van Buren, Arkansas who fell to 2-4-1 (2 KO's). WBAN's correspondent said that Lett was no match for Delgado’s forward aggressive style and expertise.

Crystal vs. Tammy Franks
Photo: Rock Solid Promotion

On July 9, 2008 at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Houston, Crystal (130¾ lbs) won a four-round unanimous (39-37 x 3) decision over 36-year-old Tammy Franks (133 lbs) of San Antonio, Texas who fell to 2-5-1 (0 KO's).

On September 6, 2008 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Crystal (126 lbs) won a four-round majority (39-37,39-37,38-38) decision over Caitlin Dance (123½ lbs) of Louisville, Kentucky, who fell to 2-3 (1 KO). According to a ringside observer, Dance utilized her superior height and reach to hold Delgado at bay with her jab to begin the bout, but Delgado’s pressure eventually turned the fight to her favor.

Crystal vs. Michele Nielsen
Photo: Rock Solid Promotion

On January 15, 2009 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Houston, Crystal (130 lbs) won a six-round unanimous (59-54,58-55,57-56) decision over veteran Michele Nielsen (129½ lbs) of  Houston, who fell to 8-4-1 (2 KO's). The 36-year-old Nielsen was returning to pro boxing after a five-year absence from competition.

On March 26, 2009 at the Civic Center in Humble, Texas, Stacey Reile (126½ lbs) of Miami, Florida TKO'd Crystal (128 lbs) at 0:23 in the sixth round of a scheduled six-rounder. Delgado went after Reile aggressively for the whole fight but could not find a way past Reile's effective counter-punching and was hurt by a punch to the liver early in the final round, resulting in the stoppage. Reile said that Delgado had given her her toughest fight so far and that not even world champion Ina Menzer had come after her as hard as Delgado did. "She's going to be a champion some day, she has a great heart", said Reile, who advanced to 9-1 (4 KO's) with the win.

On June 4, 2009 at the Civic Center in Humble, Texas, Kim Connor of Little Rock, Arkansas won a four-round unanimous (39-36,39-36, 38-37) decision over Crystal.  Connor improved her pro record to 3-1 (1 KO) while Delgado fell to 8-2 (1 KO).

Crystal told Vikram Birring of Doghouse Boxing how she came by her ring nickname: "My dad came up with it. I’ve always been a pressure fighter. When I was skinnier, like 115 and stuff like that, I used to box, but I started gaining weight, I started doing weights, my dad had me on creatine, but I never did the weights for it, so I just gained a whole bunch of water and never lost it. I became a brawler, all of a sudden, one Ringside, I fought and I lost, and that’s because I let her push me around, and it really made me mad. So, that made me change, I didn’t want to be pushed around, I was going to be doing the pushing around, and that’s how I am. I’m a pressure fighter, and I come at you like a train, and it’s hard to stop a train. So my dad thought that 'train' sounded too masculine, so he felt ‘Choo Choo’ sounded just right, and it clicked, and I fell in love with it, and it sounds good when you hear it in the crowd, ‘Choo Choo’"

Michael Campbell says that: "A typical training day for Crystal consists of a 4 mile run, an after school workout of about an hour and a half of lifting weights, and then a gym session from 5 until 8 pm.  Then it’s time for homework.  “On the weekends when my friends are at the movies, I’m at 24 hour fitness swimming laps.”  She realizes that hard work pays off and doesn’t want to lose any of the benefit.  “Two days after my fight I’m back in the gym.  Or else all the conditioning and hard work that I’ve put in, I’ll lose it.  So I want to keep improving and correcting the things I did wrong.”

About her boxing future she says "I plan to do it for six, seven years. I’m not in a race to get into a career already, because I’ll always have a career. My college diploma will always be right behind me, no matter how long I decide to stay in the ring. Now that I think about it, I don’t want to give up the sport, my passion for it, I love it. I want to put boxing back on the map, because UFC and MMA are starting to take over, and I hate it, because they don’t stay in the ring long enough to put on a good show."

She has studied Art, Graphic Design and Drama in high schools and hopes to attend the Art Institute of Houston to study web design and interactive media. 

Other Crystal Delgado links

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Page last updated: Friday, November 06, 2015


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